Each region of Italy has its traditional pastas, there are well over 350 shapes throughout the country. Artisanal pasta is considered to be of better quality due to the extrusion and drying process. Extruding the pasta through copper molds yields a pasta that has ridges or imperfections on the surface which help the pasta hold sauce better. Mass produced pasta is extruded through stainless steel or Teflon molds which yield a very smooth shiny pasta. Artisanal Italian pasta is also dried at much slower temperatures sometimes as long as 60 hours. This drying process results in a product that has a longer cooking time, a better mouthfeel, and more fragrance from the wheat is preserved.
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